Salon Pop neuroscience is bunk! Salon In recent years, neuroscience has merged with a host of other disciplines, spawning such new areas of study as neurolaw, neuroeconomics, neurophilosophy, neuromarketing, and neurofinance.
Study on Bats, Rats Finds that Analysis of Many Species Is Required to Better ...Wall Street JournalPHOTO CAPTION--A big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, flying in the University of Maryland's Auditory Neuroethology laboratory.
Optimal evidence accumulation in decision-making Medical Xpress A group of Princeton researchers has sought to explain some aspects of how rats and humans might accumulate evidence in an experimental decision-making task.
We characterize the statistical bootstrap for the estimation of information-theoretic quantities from data, with particular reference to its use in the study of large-scale social phenomena. Our methods allow one to preserve, approximately, the underlying axiomatic relationships of information theory---in particular, consistency under arbitrary coarse-graining---that motivate use of these quantities in the first place, while providing reliability comparable to the state of the art for Bayesian estimators. We show how information-theoretic quantities allow for rigorous empirical study of the decision-making capacities of rational agents, and the time-asymmetric flows of information in distributed systems. We provide illustrative examples by reference to ongoing collaborative work on the semantic structure of the British Criminal Court system and the conflict dynamics of the contemporary Afghanistan insurgency.
Scientists have identified the specific type of neurons that determine how mice react to a frightening stimulus, showing that deciding whether or not to freeze in fear is a more complex task for our brains than we realized.
We show that the resolution of social dilemmas on random graphs and scale-free networks is facilitated by imitating not the strategy of better performing players but rather their emotions. We assume sympathy and envy as the two emotions that determine the strategy of each player by any given interaction, and we define them as probabilities to cooperate with players having a lower and higher payoff, respectively. Starting with a population where all possible combinations of the two emotions are available, the evolutionary process leads to a spontaneous fixation to a single emotional profile that is eventually adopted by all players. However, this emotional profile depends not only on the payoffs but also on the heterogeneity of the interaction network. Homogeneous networks, such as lattices and regular random graphs, lead to fixations that are characterized by high sympathy and high envy, while heterogeneous networks lead to low or modest sympathy but also low envy. Our results thus suggest that public emotions and the propensity to cooperate at large depend, and are in fact determined by the properties of the interaction network.
Evolution of emotions on networks leads to the evolution of cooperation in social dilemmas
Attila Szolnoki, Neng-Gang Xie, Ye Ye, Matjaz Perc
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